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Lord, teach us to pray

If I were to ask about how talented the people in your life were, I can imagine that you'd begin to rattle off without a thought the things your kids are into that you're impressed and proud of and throw in a few friends that have exceptional gifts as well.

I'd do the same! It's a great joy in life to know and be around talented people.

Having talents is one thing. Trusting in them is another.

I've realized one month into 2022 that I was putting a ton of energy into strengthening my skills and talents - which isn't inherently bad. But when all that work wasn't translating into different results, it forced me to take a step back. How could I be putting time and effort into something and not see it improve?

No where do Jesus' disciples come and say, "Teach us to cast out demons, or to preach, or to walk on water." But they did one time ask Jesus to teach us, and it was to pray.

He went on to give examples of how weakness in our lives causes us to trust more deeply in the God who loves us and is in control. Thinking about it, I remembered back to the early days of pandemic quarantines and challenging people to pray the Lord's prayer as they washed their hands! We were desperate for God's intervention and aware of our weakness in knowing what we were up against!

But what's happened since then?

Most of us have become opinionated experts (myself included), pressed even harder into the areas we feel like we have control or success in, and subtly placed our trust in our talents. The things we feel gifted in and in control of.

How can we regain that level of trust in the Lord that pushes us first to him? How can our gifts and talents be released in light of the trust we have in God?

I think that's the beauty of the line, "Lord, teach us to pray."

We don't even really know how to do that when we're trusting our talents. We don't know how to pray when we're trusting our talents. Our prayers end up more like rants about why things aren't working out like we planned.

So where do we go from here?

  1. Let's pray that simple prayer daily in February. Lord, teach us to pray.

  2. Let's embrace weakness as an opportunity to cling to God more closely. When failure comes, let's re-position our hearts in front of God and ask him what he's teaching us.

  3. Let's look for opportunities to pray. Maybe it's better using the space created by winter rhythyms. Maybe it's seizing the opportunity to pray at meals or to end meetings. Maybe instead of trying to help someone or fix their problems, you pray with them first. Let's just keep our eyes open..

Lord, teach us to pray.


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